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Whom Do You Love?

"Love not the world... for all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but of the world, and the world passeth away..." -1 John 2:15-17 Remember Louis Armstrong's great What A Wonderful World? Angie and I had that song played at our wedding. This truly is a wonderful world in many respects. It's the place where we view the glory of God in creation. This world is where Jesus came to minister and to …

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The Motivation of Sure Success

"But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." -1 Corinthians 15:57-58 When I was in Junior High, I had a Nintendo game system and a particular baseball game in which you could pre-program the statistics of your team to make them better. You were allowed a certain number of …

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Let the Word Have Its Way

"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you." -2 Thessalonians 3:1 I must admit that few things in life are more exhilarating than preaching God's Word. That's how God has wired me, that my great passion in life would be to see people's hearts changed by the preaching of God's Word. But it isn't just public speaking that changes people - it is the powerful and supernatural Word of God that does so. …

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The Testing of the Heart

"The refining pot is for silver and the furnace for gold, but the Lord tests the hearts." -Prov. 17:3 I have often said, even from the pulpit, that it is crises that shape the heart of a person, but I'm beginning to think differently about that. Rather, crises demonstrate the heart of a person. The heart is prepared in everyday life as we commune with Jesus. The trials and tests merely show openly what happens in the secret places of a person's heart. This refining, testing …

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Our Horizons Are Set

"For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren." -Romans 8:29 I have always found it best, when I leave something out of a message that I had planned to share, to leave it alone rather than to sneak it in later in the message. Sunday, I left out just such a detail, but when I explained it to my wife later, she confirmed the wisdom of leaving it alone by letting me know just how confusing …

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Leading and Feeding

Tonight I had the privilege of hearing a recording of Dr. Warren Wiersbe delivering the commencement message at Dallas Theological Seminary. He read a verse that has spoken to my heart many times, Psalm 78:72, "So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skillfulness of his hands." I have been given a very precious and wonderful privilege - I get to serve as Pastor to one of the Lord's great churches! They have shown me appreciation in far …

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Hearing the Word of God

"So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." -Romans 10:17 What do you think of preaching? For some, the word "boring" instantly popped into your mind. You'd rather be watching grass grow. Ask yourself, why did the Puritans sit in church services for three to four hours hearing a twenty-seven point message and demand more when it was over? I'll tell you my opinion - they didn't have TV! Today, we have our choice of entertainment from an array of …

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The Great Unveiling

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass;..." -Revelation 1:1aThis simple title to the most profound book in Scripture contains within it a wonderful hope. John begins the final book of the Bible with this phrase... "the revelation of Jesus Christ." Many are afraid of the teachings of this final chapter of Scripture. Others are merely curious. John's intention was to present to us his vision of …

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Excellence

Let all things be done decently and in order." -1 Corinthians 14:40The spirit of mediocrity smothers and suffocates us. Perfectionism is an equally deadly extreme, but settling for second is not an option. We seem to live in a world of "good enough." As long as it's good enough to get by, it's okay with us.In the movie Remember the Titans, the T. C. Williams football team has worked hard all year to be near-perfect. They have come down to the championship game against the …

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Beyond Their Power

"For to their power, I bear record, yea, and beyond their power they were willing of themselves; praying us with much intreaty that we would receive the gift... but first gave their own selves to the Lord, and unto us by the will of God." -2 Corinthians 8:3What an inspiring story. The poverty-stricken saints throughout Macedonia were giving beyond what they were able to give and even beggin the apostles to receive their offering so that they could minister to the saints in …

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